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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Whiteside in Marion County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Running Water Creek Bridge

Chickamauga Campaign Heritage Trail

 
 
Running Water Creek Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lee Hattabaugh, January 2, 2011
1. Running Water Creek Bridge Marker
Inscription. The Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad Bridge over Running Water Creek was a vital link in the rail connection between Nashville and Chattanooga. The retreating Confederate Army destroyed it in the summer of 1863.

The pursuing Federal Army expected to be able to use the bridge. Private William Miller, 75th Indiana Infantry, wrote in his journal on Sunday, August 30, "We started from camp about 10 o'clock and was ferried across on flats with the rest of our brigade and started up the river near the railroad toward Chattanooga. It was very dark and the road rough and rocky and hard marching. We were on the road all night and arrived at "White Side, ' or 'Running Water, ' about day light where we found the Rebels had burned the bridges. The bridge spanned the Valley from one mountain to the other and was covered and iron roofed. It is about one hundred and fifty feet high at [the]highest place...The bridge here cost a mint of money and serves the railroad and will take months to rebuild it so the cars can pass over and should we take Chattanooga our supplies would have to be carried over the mountains by wagons."

The Federal Army rebuilt the bridge. Chesley A. Mosman, with the 59th Illinois Infantry, wrote: "Orders came for our Company to go to the side of the railroad bridge as a guard for carpenters who are to rebuild the
Running Water Creek Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Lee Hattabaugh, January 2, 2011
2. Running Water Creek Bridge
Running Water Creek Bridge built by the Federal Army
structure. The bridge is nearly a mile below camp and go we must, at once, so we packed up and started...We got to the bridge and arranged for the night...A contractor named Boomer of Chicago has the job of rebuilding the bridge and it must be completed in 40 days at the outside." The soldiers found uses for the sheet iron that had been used to cover the original bridge. Men utilize the old sheet iron from the wrecked bridge" Lieutenant Mosman continued, "as a roof for their huts and in a day or two Company D will be about as cozily housed as any men in the field service can be. It often sounded as if we had started a boiler yard from all the pounding that was going on."
"

"Two years ago today," Mosman recalled on November 9, "we left Springfield, Mo. for Syracuse, Mo..., but today we are condemned to work on the highway. Col. Grose had us build a platform for the trains. Trains came up the west side of the creek with knapsacks of some of our Brigade. We finished the platform and built a small bridge on the wagon road."

Lieutenant Mosman and the 59th Illinois Regiment, spent most of the winter at Whiteside. The railroad bridge over Running Water Creek was completed at a cost of $95,000.00 It was five hundred feet in length and ninety-five feet high, with the wooden trestle extending the length to 780 feet. It was one of the war's greatest feats of military engineering.
Running Water Creek Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lee Hattabaugh, January 2, 2011
3. Running Water Creek Bridge Marker
From the map of Col. William E. Merrill, Chief Engineer, Army of the Cumberland

 
Erected by Chickamauga Campaign Heritage Trail.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Chickamauga Campaign Heritage Trail marker series.
 
Location. 35° 0.109′ N, 85° 30.7′ W. Marker is near Whiteside, Tennessee, in Marion County. Marker is on J E Clouse Highway (State Highway 134) 2 miles east of Shellmound Road (State Highway 156), on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Whiteside TN 37396, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Federal-Georgia Road (approx. 2 miles away); Nickajack Cave (approx. 3.1 miles away); Hales Bar Dam (approx. 3.4 miles away); Love's Ferry (approx. 5.5 miles away); Raccoon Mountain (approx. 6 miles away); The TVA System of Multipurpose Dams (approx. 6.3 miles away); Tennessee AMVETS memorial (approx. 6.4 miles away); Civil War in Tennessee (approx. 6.4 miles away).
 
Additional comments.
1. Tennessee Civil War Trails
From the Tennessee Civil War Trails map for Southeast Tennessee sites: "The Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad erected the stone bridge abutments, visible just north of the highway, after the Civil
Running Water Creek Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lee Hattabaugh, January 2, 2011
4. Running Water Creek Bridge Marker
Engraving illustrating the original Running Water Creek bridge
War. The site, however, marks the location of a railroad bridge that was a vital strategic link between Nashville and Chattanooga. The Confederates destroyed the first Running Water Creek bridge in 1863. Federal engineers replaced it with an engineering marvel, an almost 100-foot high wooden trestle bridge, and soon reopened the railroad. Federal troops occupied the area, protecting the bridge for the remainder of the fighting."
    — Submitted January 11, 2011, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama.

 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Running Water Creek Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lee Hattabaugh, January 2, 2011
5. Running Water Creek Bridge Marker
The railroad bridge is in the background and Interstate 24 on the right.
Running Water Bridge Abutments image. Click for full size.
By Lee Hattabaugh, January 2, 2011
6. Running Water Bridge Abutments
Located approximately 0.5 mile east of the marker and current bridge site, these stone abutments are a Tennessee Civil War Trails site.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama. This page has been viewed 1,340 times since then and 33 times this year. Last updated on , by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama.   6. submitted on , by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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